The Miami Heat stole a win from Boston in Game 3 of the Eastern Finals. The Celtics must blame themselves for the 103: 109 defeat – but Miami also played a big role in it.
1. Celtics – Heat: Bubble-Bam signs up for service
Bam Adebayo had not made a good impression in this series in two games because he was passive. He had only 16 combined points and 10 attempts on throws, although in theory he can and should be the most mismatched Heat player in the series. In Game 3, he put this into practice.
Adebayo had already scored 16 points and twelve throws at the break, plus 6 assists. At the end of the match there were 31 points and 22 throws – Adebayo Couper Moorhead has never taken so many in one match, neither in the regular season nor in the playoffs. And that’s how aggressive Bam looked on the field.
In the first quarter alone, he scored 12 points in the zone and used his athleticism and speed over and over again, during the game he scored several times, including from the middle distance. Two-thirds of his degrees went without an assist, so Adebayo delivered the self-creation Miami so much lacked in Game 2.
It was especially important because Jimmy Butler was absent in the second half and Tyler Herro was not on the field either. Adebayo is not usually a player who carries a team offensively, but in this match he managed to keep his team afloat often enough.
The necessary luck was also there in the end, for example when he hit a wild jumper over Horford 1:21 minutes before the end, which ultimately led to the preliminary decision. The 24-year-old had previously earned and worked for this luck throughout the game. Especially since, as usual, it was not just the scoring, but everything else.
“He had his version of what Jimmy usually does for us,” excited head coach Erik Spoelstra. “He just did what needed to be done.” In this case, it meant: 31 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals – and a good portion of aggression.
2. Celtics – Heat: Every quarter counts – and Kyle Lowry is back
That’s a remarkable statistic: Miami has only won two quarters in this series and still leads 2-1. It helps if these won quarters are true statements: +25 was the difference in the third quarter of game 1, +21 was the difference in the first quarter of this game.
“We knew they would play physically, they would give everything and we did not oppose that intensity from the start,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “It looked like we were going to give in under their pressure. We started complaining to the referees and that put us out of the game. It’s disappointing to start a Conference Finals match so lifeless.”
The Celtics coach’s anger was understandable, but Miami also contributed a lot to their own lightning start. In particular, the return of Kyle Lowry paid off immediately: the point guard pushed the pace several times, giving his teammates easy points even after opposing hits.
Lowry scored only 11 points himself and did not look explosive at all, but his influence could be felt everywhere. Also in the second half, where he gave 4 of his 6 assists and was instrumental in the Heat almost, but never completely losing their lead.
Lowry has a supernatural flair for winning games. No scene showed it better than his stealing 48 seconds from the end when Grant Williams slept on the throw-in and Lowry did not. This game summed up the game overall quite well.
Celtics vs. Heat: The Series at a Glance (1-2)
|1||May 18||02.30||Miami heat||Boston Celtics||118: 107|
|2||May 20||02.30||Miami heat||Boston Celtics||102: 127|
|3||May 22||02.30||Boston Celtics||Miami heat||103: 109|
|4||May 24||02.30||Boston Celtics||Miami heat||–|
|5||May 26||02.30||Miami heat||Boston Celtics||–|
|6 *||May 28||02.30||Boston Celtics||Miami heat||–|
|7 *||30. May||02.30||Miami heat||Boston Celtics||–|